Applying for SSD with Ovarian Cancer

As September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, it seems an appropriate time to discuss the process for applying for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits with a diagnosis of Ovarian Cancer. This disease can qualify you for SSD under two different circumstances. The first is the standard process for application and approval for disability benefits. The second is when the disease is in its advanced stages at the time of your application, in which case you would qualify for expedited review and approval under the Compassionate Allowances (CAL) program for SSD.

A Standard Disability Application with Ovarian Cancer

The first step in applying for SSD benefits with a diagnosis of ovarian cancer is to fill out the disability application. You can complete your application online at the Social Security Administration’s (SSA’s) website. Or you can contact the SSA to have paperwork mailed to you by calling the main phone line at 1-800-772-1213. You may also obtain an application at your local SSA office. If you need help finding your local office, call the number listed above or visit our Disability Offices Page.

The regular process for applying for SSD is quite involved and can take some time for the review of your application and a determination to be made on your eligibility. You must complete all the necessary forms and ensure you submit thorough medical records along with your application.

SSD Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for disability benefits, you must have:

  • a definitive medical diagnosis with a condition that substantially limits your ability to maintain gainful employment.
  • a condition that is expected to last for twelve or more months or is terminal,
  • Sufficient work history during which you made contributions to the SSD fund over the last decade of your employment.

With a disease like ovarian cancer, you must not only document the diagnosis of the condition in your application, but you will also need to include medical records that show the course of treatment required and the affects of the treatment on your ability to work. Statements from your medical doctors can be key pieces of documentation in your application as they will inform the SSA of how your illness affects you as an individual, including the side effects of required treatments.

Ovarian Cancer in the SSA’s CAL Program

If you’re suffering from an advanced case of ovarian cancer at the time you apply for SSD benefits, then you likely qualify under the SSA’s CAL program for expedited review and approval for benefits. While the CAL program is intended to get benefits to those who need them most in a relatively short period of time, it doesn’t negate the medical documentation requirements of SSD application. You must still include all your medical records and statements from your doctors in your application in order to prevent delays in review and approval of your claim.